CALGARY, ALBERTA – Karen Hughes will return as Head Coach of Canada’s National Women’s Team for the 2003-04 season, including the 2004 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship in Halifax, NS from March 30 to April 6, 2004 , Hockey Canada announced on Monday. Her assistant coaches will be the NWHL’s Beatrice Aeros’ head coach Ken Dufton and 16-year NHL veteran and Olympian Doug Lidster.
Hughes has been a member of Canada’s international women’s coaching pool and women’s program since 1996. In 2002-03, Hughes was Head Coach for Canada’s National Women’s Team which captured the 2002 Four Nations Cup in Kitchener, ON, but the team was unable to defend its world title when the IIHF cancelled the 2003 Women’s World Hockey Championship which was to be held in Beijing, China.
"As a coaching staff, we’re all looking forward to a great hockey season," said Hughes. "It’s always an honour to represent your country on the international stage, and with the World Women’s Hockey Championship here in Canada, this will be a very exciting year."
Hughes, an NCCP Advanced II (Level 4) certified coach, began the 2002-2003 season as Head Coach of Canada’s Under-22 team, leading Canada to a 2-0-1 series win over the USA National Under-22 Team in Lake Placid, NY in August 2002. Hughes was the head coach of Canada’s National Under-22 team in 2001-02, as well as an assistant coach with Canada’s Women’s Olympic team, capturing the Olympic gold medal in women’s hockey. The native of Agincourt, ON also won two IIHF World Championship gold medals as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Women’s in both 1999 and 2000.
Hughes will continue her duties as Head Coach with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues’ women’s team. She is entering her 11th season with the U of T. and led the Blues to a CIAU National Championship in the 2000-2001 season.
This is the fourth time that Ken Dufton has been named an assistant coach of one of Canada’s National Women’s teams. He served as an assistant coach with the National Women’s Team during the 2002-03 and 1998-1999 seasons, winning a gold medal at the 1999 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship in Finland and was also an assistant coach with the National Under-22 Team in 2001-2002. Dufton, a native of Toronto, ON, is an NCCP Intermediate Level certified coach and is the head coach of the Beatrice (ON) Aeros of the NWHL.
Doug Lidster, a native of Kamloops, BC, played 897 games during a 16-year NHL career, capturing two Stanley Cups (NY Rangers, 1994; Dallas, 1999). Lidster, 42, was an assistant coach with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers in 2002-03 and a player/assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Team in 1998-99. An NCCP Advanced I Level certified coach, he was a member of Team Canada at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia and played a total of 104 games with Canada’s National Men’s Team. This marks Lidster’s first experience with Canada’s National Women’s Team.
Hockey Canada also announced five other members of the National Women’s Hockey Team Staff for the 2003-04 season: Goaltending Coach: Dave Jamieson (Coboconk, On) Equipment Manager: Robin McDonald (Didsbury, ON); Team Physician: Dr. Christine Young (Toronto, ON), Therapist Lois Pohlod (Calgary, AB) and Massage Therapist Mavis Wahl (Piapot, SK).
Canada’s National Women’s Team 2003-2004 Schedule
• A three-team Thanksgiving Festival will take place in Halifax, NS from October 7-12, 2003. Details regarding the NWT Thanksgiving Festival, including the list of the 60 Canadian players attending, rosters, and a schedule of events, will be announced on Tuesday, September 9th on www.hockeycanada.ca and during a press conference at the World Trade and Convention Centre, Cornwallis, Suite 1, in Halifax, NS at 11 am (Atlantic Time).
• Canada’s National Women’s Team will also be taking part in the 2003 Four Nations Cup (November 2-10, 2003/ Sweden), the 2004 IIHF World Championship and potentially, a tour of international games in early 2004.